Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults

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Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) facts

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral condition characterized by distractibility, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity.
  • Although there is no single cause for ADHD, there are a number of biological and social factors that seem to increase the risk of a person developing the disorder.
  • ADHD affects from 2%-6% of adults, men and women equally.
  • Adults with ADHD may show little to no hyperactivity but for those who do, the hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention symptoms are quite similar to those in children and adolescents.
  • There are three kinds of ADHD: predominately inattentive type, predominately hyperactive/impulsive type, and the combined (inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive) type.
  • In assessing a person for ADHD, a health professional will conduct a medical interview and physical examination. Lab tests are performed and patients are screened for ADHD as well as other mental-health symptoms.
  • Psychological treatments for ADHD in adults include education about the illness, participation in an ADHD support group, and skills training on a variety of topics.
  • ADHD in adults are often prescribed a long-acting stimulant medication. They may also benefit from a nonstimulant medication.
  • Home remedies, including dietary restrictions and vitamin supplements for ADHD in adults, have little research on their effectiveness.
  • The prognosis for ADHD individuals tends to be influenced by the person's severity of symptoms, intelligence, whether or not the ADHD sufferer has other mental-health conditions, as well as the person's family issues.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2014

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Adult ADHD Symptoms

While inattention and hyperactivity are the cardinal symptoms of ADHD, a number of other symptoms are contained within the diagnostic criteria for this condition and are typical for those with ADHD.

Symptoms related to inattention include trouble paying attention in school or work, the appearance of not listening, failing to complete assigned tasks, avoidance of activities that require sustained focus, losing things, and being easily distracted. Symptoms related to hyperactivity include restlessness, fidgeting, interrupting, frequent talking, intrusiveness, trouble paying attention, and trying to do multiple things at once.